Soccer woes and the bitching on the pitch… some men need a program

Testosterone gone wild in fun leagues… men denigrating women

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TERRANCE GAVAN – Blogger Gone Wild

Just for the record. You cannot join a co-ed rec soccer league and come off the pitch at the end of the first half and go running to the ref pointing out that your team has four women while the other team has less.

If you are possessed of that mind set?

Go home. Come back when you get it.


Yes, I was unlucky enough to be involved in a game last week where that happened. It would have been bad enough if the referee was the only one who heard it.

But of course, misogynistic remarks have a habit of emerging, once the culprit has given rise to his exasperation. The tumult in the wake of those callous and idiotic remarks, repeated within earshot of some more sensible and sensitive players, led to the departure of some women and a player and father who just removed himself and his family from the vicinity.

Some of the women who left? May not be back. And that’s just inexcusable on any level. It should be noted that other testosterone-challenged males spent the better part of the game trying to game the system by constantly testing the limits of the offside law.

In hockey we call behaviour like this cherry-picking. In soccer it’s quite clear. The law is called a law. And one of those laws is called offside. The laws of the game rule that offside and being offside to gain an advantage is cheating. It’s penalized quickly and without comment. Even in the World Cup. Here’s a thing for you guys to digest. Guys who spend their time sitting on the offside line. Don’t play with real men. Cheating in a pickup game?

We have a word for that. Id. Or… it’s all about me. Or… Hey… look at me! Ego bores me.

So why oh why in a pickup game, introduced by a solid core of volunteers to enhance fitness opportunities for everyone – not just those imbued with some x and y chromosomes – in the long hot summer, do we have guys involved who obviously don’t want anything to do with women?

Or are just there to cheat and game the system in some vainglorious attempt to score at any cost. Offside is cheating, cherry picking was never tolerated when I used to play competitively in any sport. It was a sign of players with low virtue. Cheaters. Lazy guys. Guys with ego. Not team players. I had priests for coaches when I was in high school. We shunned our teammates who hung out on the offside line. Because invariably they’d get in the way of real players who timed their runs fairly. And squarely.

Which brings us to the wider point.

Why are you there? I’m asking the guys with the problem. I’m asking why they feel an urgency to put themselves ahead of the game? Why do they join a co-ed league and then complain about the women on their team?

You know who you are. And while we’re at it… why join a fun league and then decide that it’s appropriate to challenge a referee to fisticuffs? That happened as well. But we won’t get into that. That’s just too ugly for words. It’s why young officials don’t get involved in officiating. Because there are loose cannons who don’t quite get that threatening to throw a punch at a person is the same as throwing it.

We deal with that sort of craziness on a whole other level. It starts with a call to 911. And a charge. And we bring that tidbit to the table as a pretty explicit warning to all and sundry who think that bringing assault and threats of assault to a Wednesday night pickup game is appropriate on any level. It ain’t. It’s bloody intolerable on any human level.

We stress again. It’s a pickup game.

That’s right.

A pickup game.

Here’s the definition of pickup.

It’s a run.

For fun.

Only it isn’t fun is it?

When we have testosterone-induced idiots rambling around threatening referees and denigrating women.

When we have grown men acting like spoiled children trying to game the laws of the game by cherry picking and then complaining and even stomping off the field when they get caught cheating?

It ain’t fun.

No it ain’t fun for the people (yes we’re talking about folks) on the field who have to put up with the childish behaviour. The rage and the rampant misogyny.

It ain’t great to watch women walk off the field after they are dubbed as weak links verbally by a man who is clearly, not fully [fusion_highlight type=”standard, dark”]possessed of etiquette, sportsmanship or fair play.[/fusion_highlight]

It’s not fun.

It’s sad.

Would there was a twelve step program for men who think that the world revolves around their own trite and dubious fantasies. “Hi my name is Bob and I’m a soccerholic.”

Here’s a hint to the callously indifferent soccer players out there. You guys who come out to flaunt your dubious and step-slow talent to the detriment of the game.

If you can’t come out on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and play nice?

Then please stay home.

Some people – not me – are too nice to tell you.

That you’re ruining their evening. They just walk. And we would rather you do the walking. Cos’ you ain’t fun to play with.

And personally?

If I had my druthers?

I’d rather line up with 10 sensible women.

Than take the field with belchers, bitchers, serial cheaters and ragers.

Just sayin’.

Get gav at twitter. @terrancegavan